Earlier today, it was announced that Lebron James will star in Space Jam 2. As fans of quality cinema and professional sports, a few members of the Gradient staff were intrigued by this news, and promptly took their thoughts into our interoffice communications.
Michael: KEEP TRYING TO BE MIKE, LEBRON LAMES.
Bradford: Hypebeast’s write-up is wild. “The Michael Jordan, Bill Murray and Danny DeVito-starring cult basketball film Space Jam debuted with Warner Bros”
Bradford: “CULT BASKETBALL FILM.” What child of the ‘90s didn’t see this “cult” film?
Tyler: Also, excuse me, the movie starred Bugs Bunny and Lola Bunny. I will not stand for this anti-animation bigotry.
Chad: Can we add our thoughts on R. Kelly too?
Braford: So, LeBron heard what the people wanted and responded, that’s for sure. I mean, I’m sure it’ll top Kevin Durant’s Thunderstruck or Steph Curry’s inevitable franchise with Pure Flix. But you know what, Space Jam received over 230 million in global earnings. The worst case scenario is that someone slaps a Crying Jordan on the poster while he’s counting his movie star checks.
Tyler: I mean it definitely ends the conversation about whether or not Lebron is the new Jordan. My memory of the first Space Jam is as pure and beautiful as a memory can get: I saw it on my twelfth birthday in a theater, puked an entire pizza, and got a girl’s phone number for the first time, all in that order. If Space Jam 2 can provide that same experience to the youth of today, then this is a net gain for society — whether or not Lebron is the right “fit”.
Bradford: I’m almost certain Porky Pig plays better defense than Kevin Love.
Tyler: Worth wondering: will the follow-up climactic game in Space Jam 2 adhere more closely to regulation standards than the original?
Tyler: Because the original Space Jam involved dynamite, and I don’t know a ton about basketball, but I feel like that crosses a line.
Michael: How do you know the regulations of Looney Tunes basketball?
Chad: Tyler, when you say, “it definitely ends the conversation about whether or not Lebron is the new Jordan,” I’m assuming the answer you’re expecting is: “NO HE’S NOT NOW SHUT THE HELL UP WITH THESE STUPID COMPARISONS.”
Tyler: I think Space Jam is the closest thing to a tangible torch MJ has to pass, and he passed it to Lebron! Come at me, haters, the legacy of Space Jam speaks for itself.
Josh: When Jordan did Space Jam he was the best basketball player in the world. His skill seemed otherworldly. His cool was unmatched. He was a living superhero. Lebron isn’t even the best in the league or the coolest player on his team.
Michael: Listen here’s what it does. It firmly cements that LeBron James is trying to live up to Michael Jordan. He can’t surpass the GOAT. Even Looney Tunes rules won’t change that.
Tyler: But if not Lebron, then who?
Josh: No one.
Tyler: You mean NEVER HAVE A SEQUEL TO SPACE JAM
Michael: IT’S IMPOSSIBLE
Tyler: Have you all taken leave of your senses. You ask Hollywood to not produce a Space Jam sequel? Why not just ask the tide to never come in again.
Bradford: Did you guys know that Josh is from Chicago?
Josh: I’m from the ‘90s. When hip-hop and basketball were good.
Tyler: Oh, tell us more about the glory days of cross-promotional agreements between the NBA and Warner Bros, I’m sure the Gradient fanbase is thirsty for that.
Josh: When is the last time any of you watched Looney Tunes? Most kids don’t know who Bugs Bunny is. Go do a new franchise with characters people care about.
Tyler: So you’d be cool with Lebron doing Space Jam if it was with, what, the cast of Frozen?
[There’s no release date scheduled for Space Jam 2 yet, but Fast & Furious 6 director Justin Lin will be directing it, apparently. Believe you can fly.]
Jason is the cofounder of the iconic non-profit Invisible Children which was founded to increase awareness of the horrendous activities of the LRA in Central Africa. Jason was also the director of the iconic Kony 2012 film that took the world by storm. In this two-part interview Jason and Branden talk about what it means to create a movement, what Jason experienced during his breakdown and subsequent recovery, and Jason’s experience in the world of theater.
Aharon Rabinowitz is the head of marketing for Red Giant based in New York City. During our conversation, we discussed the importance of work life balance, his start as a production intern at Sesame Street and why artist’s feel personally offended when you reject their work.
United gets their cheap on, fake news, and Trump hired who?
Welcome to Episode IV. This week, Dan spends some time with his favorite singer/songwriter, Matthew Perryman Jones. Matthew and Dan talk about panic attacks, growing up in Atlanta, the way music is informed by pain and suffering and the way music gives freedom.
If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.
To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit MPJmusic.com.
Branden sits down with writer and speaker Tyler Huckabee days after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States to talk about empathy, justice, listening, and where we go from here.
Special Election Edition, President Trump to legalized weed and everything in between.
This week we reflect on the election and discuss our strategies for staying sane.
Luca and Ilenia are the founders of Illo, a studio based in Turin, Italy. During our conversation, we discussed their self-driving video bot named Algo, how Illo was formed and how they’ve crafted a unique office culture.
This week we discuss Beyonce’s night at the CMAs, last minute election plans and how SNL might save us all.
We appreciate everyone sticking with us through this long hiatus but are planning our return even as we speak, with a bunch of new goodies and an updated format. In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange — just so you can go into the movie knowing what you’re getting yourself into.